In his new book, Astrology, Kevin Burk takes you step-by-step from the core basics to the finer complexities of chart interpretation while avoiding sidetracks into obscure techniques and fuzzy thinking. As a teacher, Burk also understands that a real grasp of the subject entails more than just learning the techniques—it also involves grasping the underlying principles that make those techniques valid.
Those principles don't exist in a void, nor do they apply to astrology alone. In fact, they are part of the body of knowledge that makes up the practical and philosophical underpinnings of large parts of the Western esoteric tradition. Systems such as Wicca, Qabalah, Ceremonial Magic, Shamanism, and other manifestations of the "occult" tradition appear on the surface to be quite diverse. In fact, they share a common heritage of knowledge with each other, and with astrology. Polarity, the elements, the reading of portents, and most especially the understanding of how different qualities of energy correspond with particular forms—and how to put those energies to work in order to achieve certain aims—are central to all of these paths.
In this excerpt from Astrology, Burk presents examples of astrological principles that will be familiar to students of some of these other disciplines.
Why Astrology Works
As we've already stated, astrology is the study of the cycles of the planets. Astrology does not claim that the planets have any direct impact on individuals in any way, shape, or form. Where the planet Jupiter is today in the sky has absolutely no effect on our existence. So why does astrology work? It works because the same force that moves the planets, also moves us. We are all part of the universe, and we all follow the same cycles and patterns. It's difficult, however, to discover the patterns in our lives directly; but by observing the regular cycles of the planets, we can understand the nature of the cycles, and learn how we, too, are a part of those universal cycles. This is a demonstration of the Law of Correspondences, which states:As above, so below.The Law of Correspondences is one of the foundations of astrology, and one of the reasons why astrology works.
As within, so without.
As the universe, so the soul.
Astrology also follows the Law of Alchemy, which states that all the energies are inside of us: if we suppress or deny them, however, they will manifest outside of us. Ultimately, this means that we can choose how we learn our life lessons (much of the time, at least). If we choose to take personal responsibility for our actions, and make a conscious and spiritual effort to let go of our fears, then we have the ability to experience harmony and balance in our lives, both inside and out. Any lessons that we don't approach on a conscious level, however, will manifest in our lives as external forces that are far more difficult to ignore. The more we try to ignore or repress these energies, the larger the disruptions become.
One thing to remember about the Law of Alchemy and astrology is that just because we have a certain amount of influence as to where we experience certain life lessons, we can never avoid them entirely (much as we might like to). Some lessons we will simply have to experience both inside and outside. We must also ultimately accept that we experience challenges and lessons in certain areas of our lives because on some level we choose to experience that lesson in that particular arena. Eventually, we have to pick a corner, stand our ground, and accept our life lessons in whatever form they come.
Finally, astrology also operates based on the Law of Beginnings, which states that the beginning point of a thing contains the potential that will be fulfilled during the life cycle and beyond. In this book, the beginnings that we will be focusing on are the beginnings of our lives, as we learn how to work with an individual's natal chart and discover how this map of the positions of the planets is also a map of each individual's life path. In Astrology, you will find a complete, well-designed course covering the interpretation of the natal chart. While many books at this level simply give you a set of techniques and ready-made interpretations, this book will give you a deeper grasp of an art and science that has its expression in the world around us, but its roots in the invisible world of primal origins.